European Commission looking into concerns about ‘rights regression’ in Catalonia

  • EU head of Justice, Věra Jourová, will “respond” to request by European Free Alliance party

VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
09.05.2018 - 16:11

The European Commission is analysing the alleged “regression in democratic and civil rights in Spain” regarding Catalonia, the Catalan News Agency learned. President Jean-Claude Juncker’s office said that the commissioner for Justice, Věra Jourová, is looking into a request by the European Free Alliance party about the political conflict in Catalonia.

The petition, expressed in a letter sent on March 28, urges “the European leaders and the EU institutions to stop ignoring” the situation, which “puts basic European values at stake.” It also “strongly denounces the judicicalization of politics as well as the prosecution of democratically elected political representatives.”

Five days after the imprisonment of some leaders, the letter was sent by the EFA’s president, François Alfonsi, and the addressees are the EU Council president Donald Tusk, the Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Parliament president Antonio Tajani. To all three, Alfonsi asked to “demand Spain to refrain from further repressive actions, to stop regression in democratic and civic rights and to engage in constructive dialogue.”


“The leaders of the European Union cannot ignore that the Spanish State continues to put pressure on its citizens, who are also European citizens, for exercising their basic freedoms and fundamental rights,” the letter also stated. It also read that “Catalans have always clearly been in favor of European integration and a stronger Union” but “today many of them feel very disappointed with the EU’s attitude.”

Juncker’s office responded to the letter on April 23, saying that the Commission “has “taken note of its content with attention” and passing the issue to the commissioner Jourová. “Ms Jourová is looking into the points you have raised and will respond to you rapidly” read the response.

This Tuesday, Alfonsi got in touch with Jourová through another missive, urging her to respond to his complaint and asking for a meeting. According to the EFA head, “the EU cannot ignore that Spanish State continues to prosecute its citizens, who are European citizens, on political grounds.” “In our idea of Europe, politicians should not be in prison or in exile for having defended their democratic mandates and their legitimate projects in a democratic and peaceful way,” says the letter. Esquerra Republicana is the only Catalan party which is member of the EFA.


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